Setting sail with hydrogen powered boats

A major new initiative to encourage the development of hydrogen powered shipping launches in Oostende, Belgium on 27th August.

The Interreg North-West Europe project H2SHIPS aims to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping and identify the conditions for successful market entry for the technology.

Two pilot projects will be implemented as part of H2SHIPS. In Amsterdam, a new hydrogen powered port vessel will be built. In Belgium, a hydrogen refuelling system suitable for open sea operation will be developed and tested.

A further major output will be an action plan for the implementation of an H2SHIPS pilot on the river Seine in Paris in 2022. H2SHIPS will also demonstrate the added-value of hydrogen for water transport and develop a blueprint for its adoption across North-West Europe.

H2SHIPS Project Launch Event

The launch event of H2SHIPS will take place on August 27th at Hotel Andromeda in Oostende (Belgium). This is a great opportunity to learn more about the pilot actions and other aspects of the project. Hydrogen experts will be on site as keynote speakers, as will representatives of other marine hydrogen projects. A world-café will give you the opportunity to get in touch with these experts to discuss everything to do with hydrogen.

The event is held in conjunction with the Hydrogen Days in Oostende, which offer the public the opportunity to ride on a hydrogen-powered boat. 

Hydroville hydrogen powered passenger shuttle
Hydroville is the first certified passenger shuttle that uses hydrogen to power a diesel engine.

Why hydrogen?

Hydrogen propulsion technologies are nearing market maturity, while still being too expensive to compete with fossil fuel based alternatives. However, their advantages over conventional combustion engines are considerable. Hydrogen can be converted into mechanical or electrical energy completely free of any emission. In addition, a hydrogen propulsion system operates silently and requires less maintenance.

Shipping is particularly well suited for the implementation of hydrogen solutions because of tight timetables and predictable routes; the NEW waterway network offers favorable conditions due to synergies with other industries and sectors.

If you have any questions regarding the project you can contact Grzegorz Pawelec, Research, Innovation and Funding Manager, Hydrogen Europe at 

For detailed information on hydrogen in shipping, read this recent article on low-carbon shipping or download this study on the use of fuel cells in shipping from the European Maritime Shipping Agency.

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